Seeking to reduce the environmental effects linked to its products, Domtar found in intelligent shipping a way to reduce gas emissions when transporting its products, an important part of the manufacturing process to the end customer.
The company will move about 240,000 shipments of pulp and paper by road in 2021. Drivers will travel more than 126 million miles, equivalent to about 5,100 trips around the equator. In addition, nearly 1,120,000 tons of pulp and paper will travel by train, packed in more than 16,000 rail cars in North America.
With strategic planning to move products efficiently, more than 650,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions have been avoided in the last 10 years.
“We have a sophisticated and cost-effective third-party distribution network to get products to customers”, says Debbie Campbell, Domtar’s director of transportation. “Yet we’re always looking at ways to improve efficiency and sustainability when it comes to transporting our products”.
Domtar’s smart shipping efforts have been recognized by government agencies and logistics partners. Since 2015, the company has been a member of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program, which helps companies advance supply chain sustainability by measuring, comparing and improving the efficiency of freight transportation.
Launched in 2004, the voluntary program provides a comprehensive system for tracking, documenting and sharing information on fuel use and freight emissions, and helping to identify and select the most efficient carriers, modes of transport, equipment and operating strategies. Domtar is one of six South Carolina-based companies with SmartWay certification.
Earlier this year, Domtar was recognized as part of the EcoConnexions Partnership Program, which “celebrates companies that are committed to reducing their environmental footprint and being part of the climate solution”.
THREE KEYS TO SMART SHIPPING
There are three main ways Domtar can approach sustainability through smart shipping: mode switching, route optimization and engaging partners.
- Mode switch: the company want to ensure that, at all times, they are using the most efficient means of transport available, while mitigating as much carbon dioxide emissions as possible.
- Route Optimization: these smart shipping strategies not only help to reduce the total miles the company ship, but also the empty miles that have no charge. “We’ve worked a lot with technology companies as well as our own in-house optimization tools to help us reduce our shipping plans and empty miles,” says Campbell.
- Engaging partners: Domtar should work closely with transport partners to help them implement initiatives to reduce carbon emissions. Examples include working to maximize truck and container volumes and optimizing product packaging and stacking arrangements.
Geographical location also helps, as most factories and converting plants are located close to the markets they serve. Less distance equals less emissions.